Madrid’s Top 10 : Architectural Sights - Top 10 Places to See Azulejos Tiles

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  1. Palacio Real

    The Royal Palace marks a decisive break with the austere tastes of Spain’s Habsburg rulers. Felipe V had been brought up at Versailles where the International Baroque style was in vogue. Architect Filippo Juvara died two years into the project, but his successor, Gian Battista Sacchetti retained the Baroque spirit .

    Palacio Real
  2. Plaza Mayor

    The inspiration for the square was El Escorial’s courtyard. But the plans of architect Juan de Herrera were only realized 30 years in 1619 later by Gómez de Mora .

    Plaza Mayor
  3. Palacio de Comunicaciones

    Home of the Madrid Town Hall from 2007, this extraordinary building was the first major commission of Galician architect Antonio Palacios and his partner, Joaquín Otamendi. The style of this palace (1905–19) has influences ranging from Spanish Plateresque to Art Deco. The most striking feature of the interior is the stained-glass roof.

    • Plaza de Cibeles

  4. Palacio Longoria

    Art Nouveau is usually associated with Barcelona rather than Madrid and, in fact, this superb example is by the Catalan architect José Grases Riera. Bold and original in design, take a close look at the florid sculptural detail, the sensuous curves and the balustrade – all typical Art Nouveau features .

  5. Círculo de Bellas Artes

    The Fine Arts Club dates from the 1920s and is Antonio Palacios’ Art Deco masterpiece. The crowning feature is the statue on the roof, representing the goddess Minerva, patroness of the arts. Pay the one day membership fee and you can take in the other highlights – the staircase, theatre, ballroom and the Salón de Fiestas, with its painted ceiling .

  6. Metrópolis

    One of Madrid’s signature buildings, Metrópolis was designed in 1905 by the French architects Jules and Raymond Février. The high point literally of this lovely Neo-Baroque confection is the bronze wreaths garlanding the cupola, which glint in the sunlight .

    Metrópolis cupola
  7. Iglesia de San Jerónimo el Real

    Though much altered over the years, this 16th-century church is an important architectural monument. It has also been a place of refuge for Spanish kings and queens through the ages. The current king, Juan Carlos I, was crowned here in 1975 .

  8. Residencia de Estudiantes

    Founded in 1910 as a liberal college, early alumni here included artist Salvador Dalí and poet Federico García Lorca. Designed by Antonio Flórez, the main building was nicknamed “transatlantic” by students because the balustrade resembled the rail of an ocean liner.

    • Pabellón Transatlántico, Calle del Pinar 21

    • Metro Rubén Darío

    • Closed to the public

  9. Torre Picasso

    The tower’s main claim to fame is that, at 157 m (515 ft), it is the tallest building in Madrid. Opened in 1989, it is the work of Japanese architect Minoru Yamasaki, designer of the ill fated World Trade Center in New York.

    • Plaza de Pablo Ruíz Picasso, Paseo de la Castellana

  10. Puerta de Europa

    The “Gateway to Europe” is a modern version of a triumphal arch. Twenty-six storeys high, the leaning towers of glass and metal were completed in 1996.

    • Plaza de Castilla

    • Metro Plaza de Castilla

    Puerta de Europa

Top 10 Places to See Azulejos Tiles

  1. Las Fatigas Del Querer

    The interior of this 1920’s tavern is decorated with Andalusian tiles and murals.

    • Calle de la Cruz 17

  2. Taberna la Dolores

    Tiled mosaics adorn the façade of this taberna dating from 1908 .

  3. Viva Madrid

    Tiled inside and out; look for the Cibeles fountain on the façade .

  4. Villa Rosa

    Fantastic ceramic decor dates from the days when this bar was a flamenco club.

  5. Antigua Huevería and Farmacia Juansé

    Two tiled frontages. The pharmacy advertised “inoffensive cigarettes”, while the painted hens next door are a clue that this bar was once an egg shop (huevería).

    • Calle de S Vicente Ferrer

  6. Bodega de Angel Sierra

    Stunning tiled façade and interior, dating from the early 20th century .

  7. Fábrica de Churros

    Pop inside this shop and check out the traditional tiled interior .

  8. La Fontana de Oro

    Pretty old café converted into a Guinness pub.

    • Calle de la Victoria 1

  9. La Quinta del Sordo

    The tiled façade here features scenes from Goya’s paintings.

    • Calle del Sacramento 10

  10. Taberna la Daniela

    Ceramic motifs cover the bar and façade of this classic Madrid taberna .

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